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Senate Leaders, President Trump Reach Deal for $2 Trillion Stimulus Package
The US Senate gaveled out of session in the early morning hours of Wednesday, announcing what Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called "largest rescue package in American history" was finally ready.
Senate leaders and the Trump administration reached agreement early Wednesday on a $2 trillion stimulus package to rescue the economy from the coronavirus assault, setting the stage for swift passage of the massive legislation through both chambers of Congress.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced the breakthrough on the Senate floor around 1:30 a.m., after a long day of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials.
“At last we have a deal,” McConnell said. “After days of intense discussion, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic. ... I’m thrilled that we’re finally going to deliver for the country that has been waiting for us to step up.”
“Help is on the way, big help and quick help,” Schumer said. “We’re going to take up and pass this package to care for those who are now caring for us, and help carry millions of Americans through these dark economic times.”
The agreement capped five straight days of intensive negotiations that occasionally descended into partisan warfare as the nation’s economy reeled from the deadly pandemic, with schools and businesses closed, mass layoffs slamming the workforce and tens of thousands falling ill.
The legislation, unprecedented in its size and scope, aims to flood the economy with capital by sending $1,200 checks to many Americans, creating a $367 billion loan program for small businesses and setting up a $500 billion fund for industries, cities and states.
Other provisions include a massive boost to unemployment insurance, $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds and $130 billion for hospitals.
McConnell said the Senate would pass the legislation later Wednesday. With the House out of session, action there could take longer, depending on whether lawmakers can agree to pass the bill by “unanimous consent,” which would require agreement from all members of the chamber.
Class Action Being Filed Against Airbnb On Behalf Of Airbnb Hosts
The move for a "Phase 3" coronavirus stimulus package is not going well. Or anywhere fast.
Senate Democrats blocked a massive coronavirus stimulus bill from moving forward Sunday in the Senate, as partisan disputes raged over the legislation that’s aimed at arresting the economy’s precipitous decline.
Negotiations continued even as the initial procedural vote fell short, with 47 senators voting in favor and 47 opposed. The tally was well short of the 60 votes that were needed to move forward. The number of “aye” votes was especially low because five Republicans are quarantined over coronavirus fears.
Although senators of both parties and Trump administration officials vowed to continue negotiating -- around the clock if necessary -- the failed vote was the latest negative signal about Congress’ ability to come together around the legislation, which aims to inject close to $1.8 trillion into businesses and households. Policy makers are scrambling to address a spike in layoffs and businesses gasping for assistance as millions of Americans stay home to avoid contagion.
Ever since Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced the legislation Thursday night, senators have missed one self-imposed deadline after another to reach a deal. The vote Sunday evening was delayed three hours so talks could continue after it became clear it would fail, but no resolution was reached and it failed anyway.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was not happy:
#VirusVote: Senate fails to advance phase 3 #coronavirus stimulus bill 47-47, after Democrats opposed Big business bailout money, with limited relief for working families.